Tripod

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by droyz2000, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    I was searching around online for a new tripod. I came across many that were $1500 all the way up to $13000. What makes a tripod that much better, that it would warrant me spending more then $300 to $500?
     
  2. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    i use a sunpak pro its not a great tripod but it cost 80 and it works great
     
  3. ChckLiz

    ChckLiz TPF Noob!

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    I just bought one last night at Wal-Mart for $30 and I have no complaints, it works just fine :D
     
  4. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Lol for $13000 it better be made of solid platinum! Sorry I can't answer your question though - I'm still a member of the $30 wally-world tripod club too.
     
  5. ChckLiz

    ChckLiz TPF Noob!

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    for my first tripod, I like it lol :blushing:
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just look for one that...

    - feels comfortable to adjust for you.
    - Has the type of head you prefer (3-way, ball.. )
    - rated for the weight of your heaviest lens+camera combo
    - the tripod weight itself is not to heavy for you to carry.

    I personally like Manfrotto/Bogen... used of course.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    $1000+ tripods are probably studio or video models: big, complicated, not meant to be moved much.

    Typically you should be able to find a good tripod for still photography for under $500. The use of high tech, weight reducing materials can drive up the price.

    IMHO, there are basically 2 kinds of tripods: some are cheap, light, and unrepairable, and others are expensive, heavy, and can be repaired.

    If your camera isn't very heavy you can probably get away with a sub-$100 tripod, although it will eventually wear-out/break if you use it a lot; they are made of thin aluminum and plastic. On the other hand they are very light, so easier to carry. The downside of a light tripod is that it isn't as stable as a heavy tripod, but you can hang you camera bag from it to add more weight. Spending $40 a year for a new tripod may be okay if you use it a lot and need super light weight.

    If you are using giant zoom lenses, or medium and large format gear, or shooting in very windy conditions you'll need a heavy duty tripod. They are more expensive, but they can usually be repaired if damaged. Things can be tightened as they loosen, or replaced altogether. I've dragged my Bogen tripod around for over a decade now. Besides holding my cameras, it has survived being used as a hiking pole when climbing hills, submerged in rivers, rolling down hills/cliffs, etc... It's beat up, but I haven't had to replace anything yet. I think I paid about $350 for it, so that's under $35 a year. Although it's pretty heavy.
     
  8. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    ^^^^
    +1

    A $99 Bogen will support a Nikkor 400MM 2.8 AF and a D2 body.

    For under $500 I have a Bogen that will support 13 lbs at a height of nearly 7 feet, a case and strap, 3 heads, SS spiked feet extensions, snow shoe attachments, and a Bogen monopod and a Bogen window pod.

    The Walmart versions are OK for a P/S but don't support weight very well when fully extended.

    For a lightweight hiking tripod I just purchased a Sunpak thet will support 6 pounds and it was under $40.00.

    LWW
     
  9. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    Right now I have an Eagle tripod. I picked it up for $50 and it is very light weight. I use it fairly often. THe two cameras that I use are a Pentex K-1000 and a D200, neither of which are all that heavy. I would just like something a little more stable.
     
  10. bytch_mynickname

    bytch_mynickname TPF Noob!

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    I too have a walmart tripod. When I first got it, I thought it was the greatest thing, cheap and serves its purpose. However, now that I am getting more experience and wanting to do more things (i.e. get lower to ground), I hate the walmart tripod. I have found that they aren't that versatile. I am now searching for a good tripod, I know it will cost a heck of a lot more but in the long run it will be worth it as it will last longer and be able to help me get better photos. I will be keeping the walmart tripod because it is light and easy to walk long distances with, a cheap tripod is better than no tripod.
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    There's a tripod/head combo locally that I'm drooling over... about 300 bucks for both (discounted). It's got an arm that can be used to extend sideways, so you can point the camera down at a tabletop, for instance. And, of course, it's sturdy enough for MF gear, at least.

    However, I've been using the $19.95 wal-mart special for over a year now (the last one broke a couple months after I got it). It serves its purpose, but I'm not happy with it. It recently cracked, and almost dropped my Mamiya 645... so I was very annoyed... but that camera is a brick, anyway.

    Just like everything else in photography, you get what you pay for, but as you go up, you usually wind up paying more and more for less and less added benefit. What's that called, law of diminishing returns?
     
  12. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    Matt is, as per usual, right on the money with his comments on tripods.

    In my humble opinion, the purchase of a Wall-Mart Special is a waste of money for those who are even moderately interested in photography. I’m not advocating the sale of a kidney in order to finance the purchase of the latest and greatest carbon fiber gee-whiz offering from Gitzo or Bogan…

    Just be aware that there are alternatives to the cheesy crap found at low rent “discount” stores. Check Ebay! A very nice used Bogan ‘pod and head can usually be found for under $175. If you are serious about your photography, you’ll certainly come to appreciate the purchase of a quality tripod.

    Note to mods: The tripod subject comes up very often here on TPF, and the same advice is always given. If someone came up with a simple guide to purchasing a tripod, might that guide be given a sticky status in the equipment thread?
     

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